The Maaco Bowl Las Vegas is a familiar site for Boise State. This was their third year in the Sin City bowl game. It was also the third win in a row for the Broncos. Boise State won a close one over the Washington Huskies. The final score was 28-26.
Saturday's game was advertised as a defensive battle. However, something funny happened on the way to a 10-3 game. Some offense broke out.
On the day Washington rolled up 448 yards of total offense behind Bishop Sankey's amazing day, where Sankey rushed for 205 yards on 30 carries and had two touchdowns. He also caught six passes for 74 yards.
Boise State had 408 yards of total offense on the day. Joe Southwick led the team well, connecting on 26 of 38 passes, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran 11 times for a total of 39 yards.
It was a hard-fought game, but in the end it came down to a kick.
Let's look at what we learned in the Broncos Maaco Bowl win over Washington.
Joe Southwick should keep the 'stache.
Did you see Southwick play today? That is what many fans of the Broncos are probably saying.
Joe Southwick looked very impressive on Saturday. In fact, it is safe to say he saved his best for the last game of the season.
He, of course, is sporting a mustache that he decided not to shave until after the bowl game. However, he might want to think about keeping it through 2013.
Where has that scrambling machine been?
Joe Southwick looked amazing scrambling today. This is something he hasn't utilized nearly enough in 2012. Of course, he did fumble once, but it didn't cost the Broncos.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but what would have happened if Southwick would have turned the scramble express on earlier in the season?
Boise State is money inside 30 yards.
All season long, Michael Frisina has made his field goals 30 yards or closer. Today was no exception. The senior made all three of his field goal tries in the Maaco Bowl.
He did have an extra point blocked, which almost cost Boise State the game. But, Frisina made up for it with a game-winning kick.
Amazing headline: Boise State Wins on a Field Goal!
Speaking of kicking—how nice is it for Boise State fans to hear that headline?
Boise State has had its kicking troubles, but for Bronco Nation, it had to be great watching a kick part the uprights to win a game.
What kind of difference did missing Demarcus Lawrence make in the game?
What did Demarcus Lawrence do? Whatever it was, Chris Petersen doesn't play games. Lawrence was suspended once this season, but apparently didn't learn his lesson.
Lawrence was sent home from the bowl game for an unspecified team rules violation. Imagine if the Broncos would have had one of their best defensive players in this game. It might have been a much less heart-pounding experience for Boise State fans.
For his sake, his teammates, his coaches and the fans, let's hope he has finally learned his lesson.
He sure can plan.
The game plan coach Chris Petersen and his staff at Boise State came up with was amazing. A hurry-up offense that featured a mobile quarterback. That pretty much sums up the first half against Washington. But, who saw that coming?
If it wasn't for a few defensive mistakes, Boise State would have been up big at half time.
When Petersen has free time, watch out. This guy is as good as anyone coming up with "stuff."
Even if you stop him sometimes, you can't keep SWR down.
Shane Williams-Rhodes was stifled most of the day. Every play that went to him seemed to be sniffed out by a group of hungry Huskies.
Even on kickoffs, SWR had a difficult time getting anything done.
That is, however, until it mattered most. In the fourth quarter when Boise State needed it most, the true freshman came through with an amazing return that put the Broncos in great field position for their winning drive.
On August 31, 2013 it will be hot in Seattle.
Boise State opens the season in a brand new renovated Husky Stadium in 2013. The Huskies will be in a bad mood seeking revenge, and Boise State will be looking to start the year off right.
It should be a good game, and after watching this one, it could be a great one.
Joe Southwick deserves credit.
Junior quarterback Joe Southwick took some of the most venomous criticism in Boise State's recent history, and he came out with an 11-2 record as a starter.
Not only that, but the guy got better and better as the season progressed. His last three games of the regular season, along with the bowl game, bode well for him next year.
He has gained confidence and endured some things that have no doubt made him a better leader, a better teammate and a better man.
He was the Boise State Player of the Game hands down.
So it was a rebuilding year for Boise State. Or, at least that's what it was supposed to be.
The 2013 season should be very exciting. Right now, the Broncos are set to play a Big East schedule, but who knows what will happen.
No matter what, the one thing for sure is that the Broncos are poised to have another good season next year.
The 2012 season ends with an 11-2 record, and the Broncos are ranked in the top 20 of the BCS once again.
Not too shabby for a "rebuilding" year. Maybe every Bronco should grow a mustache next season.